“There will be a day when I can no longer do this. That day is NOT today”.
I feel the need to write about something today. It’s pretty personal, and it might come off as ‘holier than thou’, but I think we need to talk about it, as it seems to be something I have to think about every day that most people tend to take for granted.
I’m talking, of course, about the things that our bodies are currently capable of doing.
If you happen to be just tuning in, I’ve got Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve written about it a few times, about how it effects me and my workouts, and how it’s awesome, etc. It hasn’t always been awesome, but it’s been about 7 years and I’m over the anger and denial parts and on to acceptance. Now I appreciate that I have it, and that I have MS rather than, say, something fatal.
Ever since I was diagnosed, I’ve been majorly aware of my body and what it’s capable of doing… every day. Suddenly, my mother is in my head every day. My mother ALSO had MS, but she had Progressive MS, whereas I have Relapsing/Remitting. This means that mine flares up if I treat myself poorly, and goes away after a while, but it’s always there, always waiting to flare up and make me relapse. My mother’s version of the disease was far worse. She was permanently half-disabled… as in, only half of her body ever really worked properly. Her left side was almost completely useless, and she never got better.
So every day, I think of her. Every time I look for a parking spot in front of a store, I think of her. Every time I take the stairs, I think of her. I go running and I think of her. Basically, I think of her when I’m doing all of the things I’m currently doing, and am ABLE to do, that she couldn’t do for the last 10 or so years of her life.
I know that there’s a chance that at some point, that could be me. My MS could turn to progressive, or I could just have a really bad relapse one day and never recover. These are the things that I think about every time my body gets too warm. Every time I question whether I should keep training or just sit out and relax. It could just happen to me anyway, due to old age.
And that’s what I want to talk about: ultimately, we ALL have the option of getting old and having bad joints and needing a wheelchair or a walker one day. Maybe some of us are already there. Maybe I’ll get there before my time, and maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll be that grandma in the famous photo doing a leg stretch against a light post. Maybe not.
But the point is, I hear too many people, too often, making excuses for what they ‘can’t’ do or what they don’t have the time to do. These people upset me because it seems like they just keep putting things off day after day after day after month after year, as if they’ll ALWAYS have the luxury of time and mobility on their sides.
Newsflash: none of us have the luxury of time. And it doesn’t seem like a lot of people recognize this.
Instead of saying ‘tomorrow’, say ‘why not now?’.
Park at the back of the parking lot and walk to the store. Take the stairs. Run after the bus. Do all of the things that the ‘you’ in 20 years might not be able to do. Because that time will ALWAYS come before you expect it to, and you’ll be left in a hospital bed or a wheelchair cursing yourself for all of the times that you DIDN’T do those things.
Take the opportunities that come. Run that 5k or marathon. Learn that new language. Move to that new place. Live your life for today, not tomorrow. Live it for you and the people you love. Don’t think twice. Just do the things you want to do.
We can’t expect anyone to live our lives (or their lives) for us. That’s our job. Now go write that novel or do your run for the day. Do it now, before you can’t do it anymore. Because today might not be that day, but tomorrow could be. Take nothing for granted. Get it done, NOW!